These October 2009 accident reports are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, they are intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Piper Cub. Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor. Location: Rosemount, Minn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The observed temperature was 52° F and the dew point was 42° F . The pilot reported that he started the engine and waited for about 10 minutes for the oil temperature to rise before he departed from a grass airstrip. During takeoff, the airplane was slow to accelerate.
He turned the carburetor heat on, which caused the engine to lose power and the airplane started to sink. He banked to the left to avoid trees. The airplane stalled and spun to the left, crashing in a cornfield.
The post-accident inspection of the engine and airframe revealed no preexisting anomalies that would preclude normal operation of the airplane. The Transport Canada Carburetor Icing chart indicated that at the observed weather conditions the engine was susceptible to “Serious Icing – Any Power.”
Probable cause: The pilot’s delayed use of carburetor heat while operating in conditions conducive to carburetor icing.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: CEN10LA002